The plan was to move to New Zealand for a couple of years, being mobilised by the project I'm consulting on. The trouble is, the work-life balance there (on the project) isn't great, and I didn't travel half way around the world to continue working 12h days and spending the rest commuting.
So we're staying in Australia. After a year of lockdowns and Covid, and watching Australia pass by the window, we have rented a house in the 'burbs (pros/cons to be confirmed) with a solar-heated pool, covered outdoor dining area, outdoor speakers and much more space. We also bought a car that can manage off road, and will engage with Australia and start to enjoy the benefits of living here.
What are those, now that we've spent months anguishing over NZ/Oz decision making? Loads of sun, great and varied food options, low tax, and an outdoor lifestyle that can't be beaten. So we're going to do that.
We did do a little camping over the holidays, but in the car. It managed some pretty rough terrain admirably, so no issues there (still bought some recovery insurance!). The back of the car is huge - very easy to sleep in - but also not flat. So I need to check out options for making the car more comfy as well as for camping (like getting a tent).
Outside of that, the pool has been used twice a day and does not get dull. I'm very much looking forward to going and splashing around to unwind after a rubbish Teams meeting, as well as filling the garden with friends and entertainment.
Some lessons learnt - don't move yourself if you can afford not to. It was doable (and probably good for us, after being locked down for so long), but it was hard. The van's lift didn't work and so some heavy items got stranded for a while, and it consumed a lot of time. Time that meant the following two days were spent cleaning, rather than doing it whilst Pickfords and Sons did the hard work. But it's all done now, and with the help of AirTasker, the heavier stuff is all here too.
We'll have to book in some holidays, as the biggest draw to NZ was our amazing family there and the beautiful, never-ending, scenery. Maybe it's a good reason for some unpaid leave next year, or a big sabbatical some time.
So all that's left until then is to spend the evenings actually living and engaging with this marvelous country around us.